Skip to main content

Rise in US border arrests of Indians: Detainees seeking asylum "cite" politico-religious persecution in India

US-Mexico border
By Rajiv Shah
An explosive report by the US newspaper “Los Angles Times” (LAT) has revealed, quoting Federal Bureau of Prisons figures, that of the 680 migrants detained in early August at the federal prison in Victorville, California, a state in south-western US, a whopping 380 were Indian nationals. LAT adds, about 40% of the detainees at Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Imperial Valley facility, also in California, are Indians, and nearly 20% of detainees at ICE Adelanto processing centre, again in California, too, are Indians.
Visiting the Victorville prison, says the report, US Representative Mark Takano was also surprised to find that, of hundreds of immigrants detained there, possibly 40% had traveled from India seeking asylum.
“From fiscal years 2012 to 2017, about 42% of asylum cases from India were rejected, clearinghouse records show”, says the report, adding, “Asylum seekers are not being granted asylum as easily as they were before.”
“So far during the 2018 fiscal year, 4,197 of those arrested by Border Patrol agents have been Indian nationals, according to data from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse”, the report states.
Number of Indian nationals arrested by US border patrol 
Sarah Parvini, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, reporting this, believes, increase in the number of Indian migrant detainees is the direct result of “an increase in recent years of Indian nationals crossing into the US through Mexico”, though adding, as of today, they represent “a small percentage of those detained overall.”
“Not all of the men spoke English”, report says, adding, Takano was told that they “were supporters of two different political parties and had been persecuted by India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party.” Takano quoted the Indian detainess as saying “they were often bullied into doing things that were immoral… They would have to carry drugs, perpetrate violence against others.”
“Detainees from India have cited an increase in political and religious persecution as their reasons for seeking asylum,” the report says, quoting Sukhwinder (full name not used “for fear of retribution”), an immigrant from Punjab, as an example.
Twenty-year-old, who had spent two months inside the Imperial Valley centre, Sukhwinder tells LAT that he “fled India after being attacked late last year by a group of men who stepped out of their car and asked him why he hadn’t joined the BJP, the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government. When he told them he did not support their cause, they pummeled him with hockey sticks and threatened to kill him the next time they crossed paths.”
The buffer zone in the 3,144.66 km-long US-Mexico border
“Fearing for his life”, continues the report, “Sukhwinder’s parents sold gold and part of their wheat farm to get him a visa and a ticket to Mexico – in hopes that he could seek asylum in the US. At the end of a five-day journey from Mexico City, he and a handful of other Indian nationals jumped the border wall in Baja California and were arrested by authorities on the US side near Calexico.”
LAT report asserts, “After the first assault by supporters of the governing Hindu nationalist party, Sukhwinder said, police threatened to bring up a false charge against him if he spoke out against that party again”, a treatment noted by a 2018 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, which said, “Mob attacks by extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the ruling BJP against minority communities, especially Muslims, continued throughout the year amid rumors that they sold, bought, or killed cows for beef.”
“Instead of taking prompt legal action against the attackers, police frequently filed complaints against the victims under laws banning cow slaughter”, added HRW.

Comments

mahesh said…

One of yr excellent reports. Should hit the nail on the head of saffronites!

Keep it up!

Mahesh Trivedi
Uma said…
How far will the saffronites and their henchmen, the police, will go is any body's guess. With national elections approaching, things might get worse.

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.